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Author Topic: Tried to feed..... Started a robbing frenzy  (Read 523 times)
New Bee
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Location: State of Jefferson

« on: October 23, 2011, 03:52:14 PM »

I have two small swarms I caught late this summer. I tried to add a wooden hive top feeders to each..... started a robbing frenzy. I removed the feeders,moved my hives to a new location, and reduced the entrances to 1-2 bees wide. Seems to have worked, as no more robbing Italians are milling around. So....

1. Should I put the feeders back on?
2. If I provide water, syrup, and pollen, Could I close up the smalles hive for a couple of days of un interupted feeding?

Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2011, 06:22:55 PM »

How about stealing capped stores from the strong hive and giving it to the weak hives and then feed the strong hive...

Michael Bush
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Super Bee
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Location: North Carolina

« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2011, 07:03:32 PM »

How about stealing capped stores from the strong hive and giving it to the weak hives and then feed the strong hive...

This is a good idea but feeding strong hives can also set off robbing of the weak hives.  I suggest you feed the strong hives but also reduce the entrances on all the hives.  I think this is more of a problem as the bees sense the approach of winter.  I was able to top feed earlier in the year without robbing.

"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
Field Bee
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Location: central, Virginia

« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2011, 07:59:30 PM »

Did you spill any syrup?  That'll set of a robing frenzy. 

I've not seen robing of a top feeder that wasn't on a weak colony unable to defend itself.  Is that colony doing alright?

Moved your hives!  i'll reduce or close the entrance.  Never heard of moving the hive for robing.   shocked
Field Bee
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Location: Enumclaw Plateau, WA

« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2011, 08:09:18 PM »

Boonersbad, I'd leave the entrance reducers on, maybe even reducing to a 1 bee width when you try again(you'll have to see how it goes).  Also you might consider switching to feeding with jars through an inner cover rather than using top feeders.  You reduce the amount of syrup exposed to the air that carries the scent of food to other hungry bees.

I would try and keep from moving the hives around, if possible, because you run the risk of losing foragers that you need - unless you're doing it on days where the bees aren't flying.

Also, I wouldn't lock them in unless you feel you have no other choice.  I have found that the foragers beat themselves up pretty good trying to find a way out and you lose bees that way, too.

Robbing is a pain. 
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